New club aims to help families enjoy the taste of a healthier lifestyle

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A NEW club to help children and families make healthy lifestyle changes is being set up in North Shields.

The club, for seven to 12-year-olds, starts on Thursday, May 10, at The Parks Sports Centre and is split into two components – lifestyle and physical activity.

It will run every Thursday, from 4pm to 6pm, for ten weeks, except during half term.

It is part of the Healthy 4 Life programme, and is being run by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and North Tyneside Council.

Helen Fenwick, public health nurse, said: “We aim to make these sessions fun and interactive, and include cookery and food tasting, games and quizzes.

“The children are asked to complete food diaries every week.

“They get personalised written feedback with treats and rewards when they have completed them.

“We try to tailor the physical activities to suit the families taking part.

“We also have a range of opportunities for older children including swimming, exercise classes and gym programmes.

“Our aim is to get families motivated to make healthy changes to their lifestyle that they can continue long after they have finished the programme.”

Nine-year-old Nathan Hunter, from Dudley, benefited from attending the Healthy 4 Life sessions in Killingworth with his mother Amanda Hunter and aunt and uncle Mandy and Graeme Winch.

After Christmas, the family decided they wanted to get more active and be healthier, attending the club at the Lakeside Centre.

Nathan said: “I have been inspired by coming along to these events. I have learnt all about what is in the food we eat and it has helped me to eat the right things.”

Mandy said: “The classes have been great fun for Nathan and us grown-ups and it’s excellent to learn together as a family.

“We’ve learnt about the ingredients in foods and it means that I now look at those when I’m in the supermarket and Nathan too looks at the sugar content in drinks and snacks.

“I would definitely encourage families to go along to the classes. I know we’ve all got busy lives however it’s a couple of hours of quality time with the child and they really appreciate that.”

For further information on the programme, contact the Children’s Health and Activity Team (CHAT) on (0191) 643 7454 or e-mail CHAT@northtyneside.gov.uk